What have you done that you are proud of?
First and foremost, deciding to continue my education and earn my Master's Degree is a huge accomplishment. Pursuing a career that I have become so passionate about has been one of the most rewarding experiences. Every day at work is something new, and this is one of the many reasons I decided to work in schools.
How has your work made an impact on your community, school, agency, classroom, clients or students?
I have been at my school for four years, my first two years I worked as a one-on-one support for students with disabilities and this continued to foster my growth as an educator and really understanding how all students work and learn. For the past two years, I have been the school counselor. Last year I worked as a K-5, counselor, teaching classroom guidance lessons about social skills, problem solving strategies, anger management, friendship lessons, and Bully awareness. I also worked individually with students to help support their social and emotional development through role plays, games, and collaboration with all stakeholders. These relationship and classroom lessons have made an impact by helping the teachers, students, and staff gain more insight as to how to help students problem-solve and work together.
What evidence can you share that demonstrates this impact?
This year, I am the counselor for K-7 as my school is growing each year, and I continue to do classroom guidance lessons, and individual social and emotional support for all students, but in addition to this, I now co-teach with our middle school teachers during the student's advisory class (aka homeroom) incorporating the ASCA Standards into the lessons to help these students transition to middle school. I visit each advisory class once a week to focus on ASCA standards in all three domains depending on the time of the school year (Quarter 1= personal/social awareness; Quarter 2= academic awareness: GPA's, grades, improving grades; Quarter 3 and Quarter 4= College and Career awareness).
Helping this age group and giving them a safe space and exposure to talk about things that matter to them, but may not pertain to math, English, and/or other core classes. This time has also helped our students to learn about others and themselves as they continue in their educational experience. This has been a huge success in reaching all students on a more personal level. Being able to be a partner at my school site and make a difference at the student level, with my colleagues, with the parents, and our community has been an added bonus to what makes my job so special. We have a direct collaboration with LMU Family of Schools and work with student teachers in the field as a research to practice site. I am also able to partner with the general education, special education, and student teachers to help create a more successful academic/social-emotional plan for our students. I am so grateful that I am able to take what I learned from LMU and put it into practice every day when I go to work.